The process to start building 10 affordable housing units on Thorntown and Crosswicks Road in Bordentown Township is in its final stages, according to Bordentown Township Administrator Michael Theokas.
As part of its affordable housing policy with the state and Burlington County, Bordentown Township struck a partnership with Habitat for Humanity of South Central Jersey (SCNJ) over a year ago to begin constructing plans on creating new affordable housing units for present and future Bordentown residents.
Bordentown Township officials identified Thorntown Lane and Crosswicks Road as a possible area to use for its affordable housing operation and bought three properties that were on sale in the area.
The township then demolished those properties to create land space that Habitat for Humanity now owns.
Theokas said the township has worked “hand and glove” with Habitat SCNJ throughout the process to help the organization create a plan to build five duplex buildings and provide 10 affordable housing units for prospective families.
“The Township Committee is really proud and happy to have partnered with Habitat for Humanity,” Theokas said. “The township is very committed and focused on the inclusion of affordable housing and helping families own their own homes. We’re looking forward to bringing in 10 families into our community.”
The 10 housing units will be called the “Bordentown Residential Development.” Five of the units will be for low-income families and the other five units will go to families that are considered to have a moderate-income.
Habitat SCNJ Chief Development Officer Annie Fox said the Bordentown Residential Development is the “biggest” development to date that the organization will build.
Each of the five duplex buildings will be split into two-story modular homes with three bedrooms and one and a half bathrooms and will also include a pocket park for families of three to six people.
“We (Habitat SCNJ) build homes all over that are affordable to owners and do not exceed 30 percent of their monthly income,” Fox said. “Bordentown Township has been a great town to partner with. The town has been very receptive to it (building the 10 affordable housing units).”
Habitat SCNJ will be receiving applications for the Bordentown Residential Development until the end of the month, Fox said.
Fox said potential families must meet three important areas of criteria to be considered for placement.
- Provide verification that their current housing is overcrowded, unaffordable, dangerous, unhealthy, temporary, or otherwise substandard.
- Fall into the required financial categories as a household and have the ability to pay the monthly fees during their duration in the home.
- Having a willingness to work with Habitat for Humanity and volunteer sweat equity hours towards the home.
“We want hard working families that are willing to put the time in to get the extra help they need (to own their home),” Fox said. “We’re not giving these houses to people for free.”
All eligibility requirements are available under the Affordable Housing section on the township’s website, Theokas said.
Fox and Habitat SCNJ will provide more information to the public when they celebrate breaking ground on the Bordentown Residential Development at its Welcome Home Festival on Sept. 21.
The event is free to the public and will feature live music and entertainment from local radio station 94.5 WPST, food vendors, balloon animals, face painting, bounce houses, and other fun activities for all to enjoy.
“This (Welcome Home Festival) gives people in the community a chance to see what this project is about and how to get involved,” Fox said. “They can choose to apply or also use it to volunteer to help us finish building the 10 homes.”
Habitat SCNJ’s Welcome Home Festival is sponsored by Wells Fargo. The festival is scheduled from 3-6 p.m. beginning with a groundbreaking ceremony.
Bordentown Township Mayor Steve Benowitz will speak on behalf of the Township Committee at the groundbreaking ceremony, Theokas said.
Theokas added that the Township Committee will look to set up a ribbon-cutting event for the community when families begin moving into the affordable housing units.
As construction of the new Bordentown Residential Development nears, Theokas said the township anticipates many volunteers from the Bordentown community and local municipalities to help assist Habitat SCNJ with completing the construction of the affordable housing units.
“Things are really moving. We’re very excited,” he said.
Habitat SCNJ is an independent affiliate of Habitat for Humanity International, which operates through independent, local affiliates to ensure that all functions of the organization have maximum relevance and impact on individual communities. In January 2022, the affiliate changed its name to reflect its expanded service area, which covers Burlington, Mercer, Atlantic and parts of Middlesex Counties. To learn more, please visit www.HabitatSCNJ.org